Sunday, February 08, 2009

Better E-Government

Rumor has it that Obama will name Vivek Kundra to be his administrator for E-Government. This position (which is different than the long-rumored federal Chief Technology Officer) lives inside OMB and is responsible for coming up with cool ways of using the internet to make the government work better.

Kundra is currently the CTO for the District of Columbia where he recently ran a really nifty contest called Apps for Democracy. The contest allowed regular citizens access to DC's information databases -- everything from real-time information about which parking meters are in use to census and building permit information. The city then gave out prizes for the most innovative web application that makes that information available to the public.

The winners can be found here. The gold-medalist is a website called that allows you to enter a street address (currently DC only) and it pulls up a ton of information about the surrounding area. It's pretty nicely done and the benefits of doing this sort of thing with federal data would be, of course, enormous. (h/t Emily.)

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